Sunday, December 30, 2012

A joint effort!

The girls heave been home for Christmas! What joy in all the noise and chaos, the fun and laughter, the masses of cooking and eating, but most if all the sharing of so much love!
Nafisa wanted to make a Kindle cover for Nishka's Kindle. She wanted to quilt it and had a very clear idea as to what she wanted to make! However she is very good with her crochet, but has not used a sewing machine, so I agreed to be her 'karigar'!!!We worked out the size together, and the fabric was then cut. She appliqued the owl on the front and once done, I quilted the case for her, and she finally finished it with fairly neat hand stitching of the binding!
No surprise that Nishka is delighted!
                                                                           The front
                                                                        The back
                                                                 The inside with a pocket

Friday, December 28, 2012

A Special Christmas Gift!

The amazing thing about being part of the Desi Quilters is how friendships have developed...such a feeling of closeness and warmth, possibly because it all stems from the the single fact...we all love to quilt and create, share our knowledge and learn from each other!
I have never met Madhu as she lives in Jaipur and I am in Kolkata ...but we have become friends. So with my Desi Bee block this is what she sent me....a quilted wall hanging for Christmas! Beautifully crafted and so special! I put it outside the front door as a welcome decoration!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Nafisa's cat quilt

This is the quilt I have made for Nafisa. She is a cat person and is totally delighted with it!

It has been a huge learning time for me. I realized that I will have to be very careful with the fabric I use. They all have to be as similar as possible. I bought the 2 printed pieces abroad, from a quilting store, and so they were of a similar kind. However the plains were poplins I bought here. With the many qualities of poplin available locally, there is a variation in the thickness. So this meant that some of it stretched....extremely irritating. The next big challenge was in the actual quilting! I have used a cotton batting which is of really great quality and easy to work with. But putting the sandwich together and then basting it (I used pins, which was a time I will baste it with thread) turned out to be far more difficult than usual. Especially keeping wrinkles out was a marathon feat!!!! I love a bit of the hand stitching and that seemed to increase the wrinkles! The backing was a great fabric I found in Bangalore, but had to have a join down one side to make up the breadth.
Nafisa, my designer daughter, says she loves that its not totally then I guess its ok!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sailing boat block

This is the block for Nirmala who is the Bee for this month. She wanted solid colours. It was a very simple block to make, but since there were almost no instructions for dimensions, I had to work that out although initially frustrated, I took it as another learning experience!!The HST squares have to be 4", The 2 side panels 8'X4', the boat and the water 4x12 1/2".  A 4 " square cut into a triangle to create the sides of the boat.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Prasanna's Sunny Bee Block!

Of all the blocks I have been making for the 2 Bees I am participating in, this was the most difficult!! The instructions were clear and there were video links to follow as well....Trying to get all the points to match was a challenge though! It was a great learning though!!!!! I was accurate in measuring, but still had to trim the pieces once I had stitched them. No matter how good the cloth, it does tend to stretch a little! Anyway it's done, and I hope Prasanna is happy with it!

Monday, October 22, 2012


My family tease me as they say I can never sit still and just Chill!!  The fingers have to be busy all the time! True that!!! I miss the sewing when I am traveling though, so always carry something with me. The other great love in my life in the craft category, is crocheting!!! I find it so relaxing and have some work in progress amongst my multiple projects. This month has been one of the bit of work that has been my constant has been this table cloth which I am making as a gift for my daughter! The pattern is from a friend who made a very successful one.
Its a lovely star design and will look lovely on her dark polished wood dining table.
I've used a slightly thicker cotton thread this time....and like the effect. Plan to make linen napkins edged with a narrow crochet border!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cards for my babies!

New Bernina and a renewed love for quilting....I have decided to make birthday cards for my babies!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bee 2

This is the first block in the 2nd Quilting Bee I am participating in! Bhavani wanted us to make her a sun flower, the main petals in shades of any chosen colour appliqued on to a white square!....I have taken a little artistic license, and added a little more colour, but the effect is great! The Bee's are such fun as it challenges us to create something new, people have such great imaginations and I benefit by being part of their new ideas!
Applique with the Bernina is such fun. I like the blanket stitch look effect, and am now furiously experimenting!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The picture is complete!

I finally finished the wall hanging! I have to thank Martin Wadell and the story 'Owl Babies' for the inspiration and of course the fact that it is Sufi's bestest story at the moment! Viveck critically looked at my fabrics for the binding and chose this one, so now feels he has had a hand in its creation!!! He certainly is totally appreciative and encouraging of all I do, so that's true in a way!  I hope Sufi likes it and it brightens up her room! I loved making it!
Percy and Sarah owl
Followed by little Bill!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WIP, A wall hanging for Sufi!

This month's Challenge in DQ is to make a single piece quilt. I decided to make a wall hanging  for Sufi's new room in Mumbai. It was also a way to use my brand new Bernina sewing machine....which Viveck got me! With an assortment of quilting foots as well!!!
Sufi loves the story of the 3 owls, and I read it to her many times when I was last with her. Now there are 2 barn owls that come to her flat in Mumbai some evenings, so this seemed a good picture.
I found a great design on the net and adapted it to finally come up with this one! I wanted a night scene, but just couldn't find the right kind of fabric. After a frustrating afternoon looking for the correct fabric in the market, I decided to paint the background using fabric paint. Since this is going to be a wall hanging I have used a heavy cotton. I had great fun actually splashing 5 kinds of blue on to the fabric with a really fat brush!
I next made the templates on paper. I chose an assortment of fabrics and stuck the bits onto fusible backing which stiffened the fabric. I then cut out the pieces.
I have now placed all the bits on to the fabric and am ready to use my new machine to applique them on!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tiny pieces!

The August Challenge for DQ was to make 'a mini not bigger than 12'x12, using pieces not bigger that 1.5' finished...and the colours were saffron, white and green only, the colours of the Indian flag.' I thought about it quite a bit and decided I would try something different. I would try and use my favourite method of quilting and  crazy quilt mini squares. And the 12"x12" finished piece  would also make a great cushion cover.

So first I got all the bits and pieces of fabric in place...Artistic licence to vary the colours a little to make it more appealing (I have never liked the green on the flag). I started by making a really wonky wonky block...and loved doing that.
I then cut the block into tiny 2" squares, in a random sort of fashion, keeping half inch for sewing, so that would give me the 1 1/2" square that Tina had specified!
I wanted to use the green as a frame so that each tiny square would stand out, so cut the little 2 X 3/4" rectangles and connected them together.
I was leaving for an extended visit to the States and decided this was just the thing to take with me to sew on the long 4 X 15 hour flight from Kolkata to New York! So all the piecies were cut and packed into a little travelling kit, which fit neatly into my bag. All the joining was done by hand and I enjoyed that as I like sewing by hand! 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Patterns in Nature

Walking through Central Park in New York, the weather was warm and the sun streamed in through the trees. So many images and so many designs that one could use on the quilts I keep planning to make. Images and colours I can use for painting my water colours as well!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Celebrating 90 years!

Aunty Pam is 90 years old and we are in Mumbai for her celebrations! She remains such a grand lady and the eldest surviving member in our family from Viveck's side. She is a great seamstress herself, and does the most amazing crochet and cross stitch. So I decided to make this quilt for her, and I hope she likes it.
We decided a lap quilt would be good as she sits in front of her telly every evening, doing her needle work and watching he favourite programmes! Pune does get quite cool in the winter so with the flannel lining, this should be very comfortable!
I made the quilt blocks as part of a quilt along, and Nitasha embroidered the block with the message! All the kids sent her a scanned signature and she embroidered it on in chain stitch! 

 I found a great cotton print in a beige background with a lovely tree design on it in greens and cream. . I added a panel in the middle in the same background fabric of the quilt. On the whole it turned out well!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My scrappy quilt for Ma!

I am delighted with this quilt!!! The design is from a book on scrappy quilt. In my typical fashion, I have been mulling over this book for a long while, thinking about all the quilts that I would like to make! Finally decided on this pattern as a birthday present for my mother! I like to get things done quickly, and the pattern looks complicated but is actually a very simple string quilt, with scraps cut into strips, joined and then cut into triangles! However a very big lesson learnt is that one must only use fabrics of the same thickness. I used some Jaipuri mul mul prints as well, and it was a nightmare to try and sew the squares together as the thinner fabric kept stretching! I should have starched the thinner fabrics and it possibly have been easier!

This is the first quilt I signed!

I first took out all by big bits, washed them, cut them into strips and joined the strips. The spent a whole day cutting all the squares and triangles!

The next was laying it down on the floor, and making sure I had the colours well distributed. I then stitched it together, including the border and the top was complete!
I couldn't find any decent batting in Kolkata, so decided to line it with flannel! it actually is possibly more practical anyway, as Pune doesn't ever get so cold as to need a quilt! I used a printed handloom fabric for the back!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Naeeda is off using leather bags, and hinted loudly as to how she would LOVE a quilted one for her birthday in July. So of course I loved the challenge of making her one! I have never made a bag before, so this was a a serious challenge! So first I looked for a pattern and found a lovely one on a website with free patterns (  I then chose the fabrics and since Naeeda loves bright colours  I used the red and the madhubani cloth together! I have got some thin synthetic batting and this was ideal for the bag.  She is off to Portugal to visit David's family over the summer, so this will be great for her! Ofcourse now I have to get it across to her in Bangkok!

I quilted 'in the ditch', only on the white! I lined the inside with read as well!!! On the whole it has come out really well!
I was so excited by this that I made another one for Sufi, who at the moment loves bags! I got some interesting fabric in Bangkok, with little animals on it and hope she will like it as much as I like making it for her! She is visiting in a couple of weeks, so this is her 'coming to Thai's house' present!